Lumina Apartments

Penrith, Australia
DKO Architecture
Tumbled Virginia

DKO's design concept for two linear sites in Penrith aims to create a series of vertical villages that animate the street, each with different characters and scales.

The buildings have been designed to mediate between the more considerable height, scale and proportion of adjacent apartment developments and the fine grain, smaller terraces and houses in the surrounding context. This is paired with the vision to create a network of smaller, more approachable and diverse communities.


The buildings are highly articulated and have been visually broken down into volumes. The massing sensitively responds to existing conditions and is aligned with Penrith Council's future plans for the area. The visual bulk of the buildings is softened further due to material selection, massing techniques, and landscaping.

The façade is composed primarily of pre-cast concrete of varying tones with highlights of black metal screens and window hoods. The brick element contributes to the texture and materiality of the façade and responds to the general character of the surrounding buildings.


In different sizes and layouts, a variety of dwelling typologies have been considered within the overall scheme, offering opportunities for families of all scales and helping to create a highly diverse community.


Private and communal open space has been skilfully woven throughout the development. Street landscaping wrapping around each buildings' edges creates a green buffer while establishing a clear and engaging entry for residents. Unique double-storey communal spaces further break up the building mass, creating generous open green zones supporting various resident activities - from relaxation and play to food production and gatherings. These facilities will foster social interactions between residents and promote a real sense of community.


The Lord Sheffield Circuit apartments aim to reduce reliance on mechanical heating and cooling through carefully considered passive design solutions. Deep balconies, screening and shading devices offer additional sun protection, while 61% of apartments embrace cross-ventilation via open-plan floor plates to the corners and through the building's depth

The building's orientation takes full advantage of prevailing breezes to maximize fresh air movement, creating a comfortable indoor environment. Low energy lighting, energy-efficient water heaters, water-saving fittings, and fixtures have been specified throughout, with rainwater tanks onsite collecting for public and private gardens.